When Shakespeare wrote his lines would outlive stone,
The prophetic soul had not yet dreamed on chips
Which in computers (also then unknown)
May render sonnets obsolete as pips.
For who, today, will spare sufficient time
To tear himself away from all the screens,
Or generate the thought to ponder rhyme
Now thinking’s done for him by fast machines?
With such efficient, automated slaves
Who soon, I ask, will even wish to read? –
These gods will speak, not print, their facts: it saves
The paper, therefore wood; a crucial need.
Despite this fear, I’ll always read Will’s verse
And write my own, though infinitely worse.
9 September 1995